First Posted: 12/5/2009
Spending time together was never a problem for six cousins in Shoals.
Andrew, Austin, Colby, Jacob, Jared and Jeremy Scott have been in Boy Scout Troop 545 for as long as they can remember. Starting with Cub Scouts and moving up through all of the stages, the guys have finally suceeded in all achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Colby was the first to complete the long list of requirements for the honor in July of 2006. However, he decided to wait for Jeremy and Andrew to complete their requirements in December of 2006 and March of 2007 respectively and so they could all have a ceremony together.
Then came Jared, who completed everything in March of 2007. Jacob in October of 2008 and Austin in June of this year were the final two to complete the requirements and they held a joint ceremony. For the guys, being able to celebrate these honors with each other was something special that not many people get to do. They were able to support each other as well as their community through the projects they completed.
In order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, the scouts are required to complete a community service project of their choosing. They must decide on a project, find sponsors to purchase the supplies needed and then find help in completing the project which is then presented to an honor court for approval.
The cousins decided to help out Fairview United Methodist Church in Pinnacle where they attend services. The guys approached the pastor of the church to find out what was needed and went to work.
What they have done resulted in a significant financial savings for our church, said David Cook, pastor at the church, speaking of the money saved when the church did not have to hire professional contractors. They have opened up a whole other area for us to worship and have fellowship. We anticipate being able to use that in the future.
Colby, 20, built a picnic area with two tables at the church with a trail that leads to it from the parking area. He also completed some landscaping around the area. Andrew, 17, created an outdoor sanctuary in the woods for use by the church. It includes a podium, benches and a cross.
Austin, 15, installed outdoor ceiling fans and completed the landscaping at the pavilion beside the churchs playground. He planted shrubs, spread pine needles, back-filled the surrounding areas, sowed grass and finished a rock retaining wall.
Jared, 18, installed a water spigot and critter-proof trash cans on a cement pad at the playground area. Jacob, 15, set up cubbies for bookbags and a coat rack for the churchs preschool area. Jeremy, 17, built a covered wooden swing in the playground area and constructed a large cedar cross for the church which sits in the churchs front yard.
Its what the preacher said they needed. We wanted to help at the church, said Jeremy.
The cross is one of the major symbols of our faith, said Cook. To know that it was done by one of our youth and is prominently displayed in the front yard is really special. We are appreciative of that.
Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is the most prestigious rank in the Boy Scout programs. The honor is something that will stay with the cousins for the rest of their lives, as will the memories they have made along the way with everything they have done with the Boy Scouts.
The Eagle Scout looks good on everything you do, said Colby. Its a good program.
It means a lot because it follows you for the rest of your life, said Jacob. It was definitely worth it.
The skills and lessons they have learned through the Boy Scouts will also be beneficial to them as they get older. Through scouts, they have learned the importance of helping out in their community as well as many life skills in addition to the more traditional survival and camping skills that are so often associated with the program.
We had a lot of encouragement from our parents, said Austin. Scouts teaches life skills and how to be a leader. Going to scout camp was pretty fun.
The church family at Fairview United Methodist is appreciative of the role the Boy Scouts has played in the lives of these young men as the values learned have been reiterated in their service to the church.
I first think of their active status in the church. All six of them are very active in United Methodist Church fellowship. Whenever they are needed, they are always available, said Cook. To realize the church had this impact on their lives and make them want to give back is significant. It says a lot about their parents and the way they were raised.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.